Friday, April 25, 2008

empire of the mustard seed

i was reading jonny baker's blog this week and stumbled upon this review of a new, interesting book titled the new conspirators: creating the future one seed at a time.

it looks like an interesting book that i definitely want to get my hands on... possibly for my next read... i've been putting off picking up a book for a while and i need something hearty.

i could write more about what i've heard is in this book - but i'd basically be copying jonny baker's thoughts. why not just check out baker's review HERE.

the book deals with new movements that we are in the midst of... emerging, mosaic, monastic, and missional. if you are interested in any of that or what our role (and the churches role) should be/can be - then maybe this book is worth checking out.

check out the Mustard Seed website that author Tom Sine has launched, too.

here is a quote that i stole from Jonny Baker who stole it from the book... this is what makes me want to read it:

  • when jesus began teaching he made it clear that his new empire would be unlike any empire the world had ever seen. it came on a donkey's back. it's imperial council was comprised of a handful of unemployed fishermen, a couple of IRS agents, a prostitute and some hangers on. jesus demontsrated how to wield his imperial power by washing feet, telling stories and playing with kids. jesus' empire is based on the absurd values that the last should be first, losers are winners, and the most influential in the empire should clean the toilets. members of the empire are instructed to love their enemies, forgive their friends, always give twice as much as people ask of them and never pursue power or position. jesus insisted that those who are part of his empire shouldn't worry about finances, but simply trust god. the resources to run this empire were basins, towels, and leftover lunches. this empire also developed a reputaion for constant partying - almost always with the wrong kind of people.

    seriously is this any way to run an empire? imagine what would happen if you ran a political, economic or religious institution with these bizarre values. clearly it wouldn't have much of a future. these values might even get the leader assassinated...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

what sort of legacy will you leave?

i've been thinking a lot about legacy lately. maybe it has to do with thoughts of my father who passed away one year ago last week. i can think of the legacy that he left for me. i can think of the impact he made on others. i can think of the number of persons he mentored - men and women who would eventually follow the Lord's leading as they entered into ministry. but this post isn't really about my father. i honor him and we paid respects to him when we visited the grave this week - but this post is about us... me... you... whoever you are.

what sort of legacy will i leave? what sort of legacy will you leave?

while visiting the cemetery where my dad was laid to rest i couldn't help but look around at all of the other grave sites. some have been there for over two centuries. men who fought and died in the Great American Revolution and in the Civil War; babies who died months after birth, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands wives; some lived long, some not. with each stone placed in the ground a legacy goes with it.... a story... some untold, forgotten or too far in the past for anyone to know. but there was a legacy left there in the burrows of the green grass.

what were there stories? did they live productive lives? did they struggle with the same struggles as you and i? was life simpler for them? what did they stress about... rejoice about? did they know Christ and follow his teachings? did they have faith and if so, was it visible, plain and seen by one and all?

were they heroic or drunkards? housewives or heretics? what was their vice... their tragic flaw?

What was their legacy? did they even think about what kind of example they were leaving behind and how it might impact the world?

we know of the legacies of so many. Martin Luther King left us a legacy of peace and equality. johnny Cash left us a legacy of music and raw emotion that will sustain us for many years to come. Mother Teresa left us a legacy of service. Bill Gates a legacy of technology. I could go on. So could you. but again - it's not about them. it's now about us.

what legacy will we leave?

in the movie Meet the Fockers (yeah - i'm referencing that movie in a post about legacy...) Greg's future father in law (Jack - played by Robert DeNiro) asks what's truly important in life. Greg replies "love... friendship." Jack reminds him that leaving a legacy behind is of the utmost importance. Jack doesn't want a 'chink in the chain' of his families lineage.

Love... friendship. kind of sounds a lot like what Jesus said was most important...
  1. Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." Matthew 22:36-40

Love God. Love People. it's that simple. that should be the foundation of our legacy.

Peter gives further instruction on leaving a legacy.

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For,
"Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?

1 Peter 3:8-13

another fine reminder. what legacy will we leave? what example will we set? what stories will people tell about us and how might those stories further the kingdom of God?

Now playing: Portishead - Glory Box
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

small glimpse of Explosions live (from my wife's camera phone)

Greet Death... a jumbled mess, i know. trust me - it sounded great live.
oh, and my hearing came back in my right ear after about a day.

Friday, April 04, 2008


picture taken from camera phone
For my birthday this year, my wife got me tickets to last nite's Explosions in the Sky concert in Cleveland. the tickets were supposed to be a surprise - but somehow i found out... i always do.

LIVE: APRIL 3, 2008

If you don't know anything about Explosions in the Sky - they are a progressive rock/post rock band from Austin, TX. There is no lead vocalist... as a matter of fact they don't have any vocals at all. The music doesn't need a voice - as they have a canny ability to make their instruments 'sing'. It was a really great show in every way. Such power. such emotion.

the opening act was a bit much. I appreciated what Lichens was doing as he layered sounds from his guitar, his mouth and various other instruments to create a full sound - but it was a little monotonous. He played one song for 25 minutes... the crowd erupted in cheers when he finidshed... probably more in appreciation for what was to come next.

EITS took the stage at 10:02pm... after wishing a friend a happy birthday, Munaf kicked off the show with the traditional opening: "We're Explosions in the Sky and we're from Texas."

With that - they began the show with various noises emitted from guitar feedback. The set list was as follows:

Catastrophe and the Cure
With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, tired Souls, We Slept
The Birth and Death of the City
Your Hand in Mine
Greet Death

Magic Hours
The Only Moment We Were Alone

With the exception of the underage kid who couldn't handle his liquor (that he somehow got his hands on) it was a fabulous show. My wife graciously attended the show with me - with a little protest. Her only requests: chairs to sit in, Starbucks on the way home and that EITS play her one and only favorite song of theirs: Your Hand in Mine.

We reached 1 of her 3 requests. They did play Your Hand in Mine (that song was featured predominantly in the movie Friday Night Lights)

The setlist was amazing. The songs meshed well together. It was nothing short of bliss, as far as i was concerned. We ran into an acquaintance after the show in the lobby. I asked him his thoughts. He said he felt like he just got hit by a bus. it was that powerful.

of course - i am a huge fanboy of EITS - among other bands (U2, Radiohead, Celine Dion... j/k). I've got the EITS t-shirt to prove it now. So my bias for is certainly prevalent.

My hearing in my right ear is finally starting to return to form. there were parts of the show that fully rocked. hard. and honestly, i think i saw the face of God during The Only Moment...
it was a brilliant close to a stellar concert.

after the show we walked down the street in what is probably not a good and/or safe part of
Cleveland to a music shop called Music Saves. It was retro - as was the Vintage Shop in the basement of the Beachland Ballroom. I was tempted to walk out of both stores with an armful of vinyl - but couldn't justify it until i have space to set up my turntable.

it was a great evening with great music and i am thankful that my wife thought that much of me to not only surprise me with tickets but to attend the show as well. We had a good time and i think she enjoyed their music more than she'll admit - save the feedback and occasional gut-wrenching, heart-stopping noise.

for more info on Explosions in the Sky:
tour history

EITS is:
Mark Smith = Guitar
Michael James = Bass + Guitar
Munaf Rayani = Guitar
Christopher Hrasky = Drums

"These four musicians came together in 1999 to form one of the greatest instrumental rock bands in modern history. Their music has been described as passionate, romantic, loud, melodic, powerful, tragic, and beautiful. Austin, Texas is home to many great artists but few of them stir emotions better than Explosions In The Sky!"

Now playing: Explosions In The Sky - With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, April 03, 2008

in the sky



later today
beachland ballroom
cleveland, ohio